Runnin' the ball is like makin' romance.
- Walter Payton, NFL running back, deceased
Friday, October 24, 2014
It is only eight city blocks from the hotel bar to his high rise apartment apartment -- the jolly jaunt, he calls it. He renditions "Singin' in the Rain" for all of the first block and most of the next. Around him the office buildings sit black and empty. A taxi and two autos pass but it's doubtful, at this late hour, they took note of this awkward, but entirely exuberant, performance. The street lamps burn, the traffic signals blink, but it's almost three in the morning. No one's watching.
Except for the woman. She's watching. She's been watching. Since the the hotel bar, the two of them snuggled in the corner booth, she's been watching him. Since they pushed out the hotel doors, past the valet attendants and almost out onto the street. She was amused at first, when he dropped her hand and broke into dance and song. Then - why is he over there and over there and now over there, instead of over here? But she kept on walking, trying to keep pace. And when he pointed directions to her, she adjusted accordingly. That's all they need do. Ha! He jumped in and out of a new spin, landing with only a small slip. He wished the sky would open, just for her and him. A deluge even! He left the umbrella at home tonight, but still.
He skips to a stop beside her, gasping slightly for air. She doesn't question the opening, pressing tightly against him. Pulling a free arm of his into her own. Whispering giggling some nothings into the man's face and ear that he can't understand. It feels to him like he just got rushed. Which he did. This sudden force applied against him, this weight added to his person, applies a different tension to his feet, requiring he calculate and adjust, requiring he concentrate to regain balance, requiring he abandon his reverie. It wouldn't do to fall, or even stumble, in front of the woman. That wouldn't do at all. After restoring order, he pulls her in tighter. One face upon the other. His smiling - Darling! He slows them down to little more than a plod. She easily falls into step, like a practiced partner.
So they walk , wrapped as lovers. Her high heels scoffing pavement echoes into seeming perpetuity. He loves that sound! He pulls her in tighter and inhales her person with force. Again. he decides she smells like a woman thinks a man would want her to smell. He notes it as the first deception. This isn't her first deception. He knows that. But it's a lovely evening and he's not in the mood to quibble. It will be listed as the first "notable" deception. There will be plenty more. There will be no shortage.
Distracted, he laughs at the whatever she is going on about. Loudly, recklessly, he guffaws while pulling loose from her to shuffle a few dance steps. He feels much steadier now, and lighter on his feet. He circles her wildly and loudly, as if they are the only two people alive. Everything has a beginning point. He chuckles to himself wondering how many deceptions she'll reveal before he removes her clothes, and then after. He'll scrutinize her more fully then. More deliberately. She'll get his full attention then. He can get the all of it then. For now, he is contented to walk arm in arm, listen to the singing.